Glia in Neurodegeneration: The Housekeeper, the Defender and the Perpetrator


Over the past decade, research has unveiled the intimate relationship between neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. Microglia and astrocytes react to brain insult by setting up a multimodal inflammatory state and act as the primary defenders and executioners of neuroinflammatory structural and functional changes. Microglia and astrocytes also play critical roles in the maintenance of normal brain function. This intricate balance of homeostatic and neuroinflammatory functions can influence the onset and the course of neurodegenerative diseases. The emergent role of the microglial-astrocytic axis in neurodegenerative disease presents many druggable targets that may have broad therapeutic benefits across neurodegenerative disease. Here, we provide a brief review of the basal function of both microglia and astrocytes, how they are changed in disease states, the significant differences between mouse and human glia, and use of human induced pluripotent stem cells derived from patients to study cell autonomous changes in human astrocytes and microglia.

Authors Sheeler C, Rosa JG, Ferro A, McAdams B, Borgenheimer E, Cvetanovic M
Journal International journal of molecular sciences
Publication Date 2020 Dec 2;21(23)
PubMed 33276471
PubMed Central PMC7730416
DOI 10.3390/ijms21239188

Research Projects

Cell Lines